Really need some advice.

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

PI with LRAP/little debt

Michigan - Sticker
22
69%
USC - Sticker
2
6%
Irvine - 25k yr
6
19%
Fordham - 25k yr
1
3%
Pepperdine - 46k yr
1
3%
 
Total votes: 32

Scuppers
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:29 am

Really need some advice.

Postby Scuppers » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:06 pm

I applied to 25 schools, and my cycle is over as of this morning's T10 dings. I'm pretty undecided as deposit deadlines loom. Poll reflects my best (least terrible?) choices.

3.7 167-167-Cancel. Mid-career. Top 5%ish softs based on years of browsing TLS.

Currently petitioning for June retake, but I honestly don't know if I will improve much even if it's approved.

Not interested in big law, though I'd rather be in big law than back to old job. CA preference and strong ties, but I understand well the apocalyptic nature of the CA legal market, and I'd rather be employed in a JD-required job in NY or Michigan than back to my old job with three more years of gray hairs and a roofless mortgage.

So: CA PI with LRAP/little debt > Anywhere else PI with LRAP/little debt > CA big law > Anywhere else big law > Back to old job with little debt.

Lastly, my wife is a reasonably successful lecturer/translator with opportunities in LA and NYC. She may be able to find work in Michigan, but it's a little more worrisome.

[I did not include "Skip Law School Altogether" as a poll choice even though I know it would be a popular one. Whether or not to attend at all is a little more personal than I am prepared to get on here. I'd like opinions on the least-terrible school choice based upon the assumption that I will be attending regardless.]

Really appreciate it.

hoogs23
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:16 pm

Re: Really need some advice.

Postby hoogs23 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:23 pm

LRAP is if you can get a job, but have your tried to negotiate?

User avatar
Bronck
Posts: 2025
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:28 pm

Re: Really need some advice.

Postby Bronck » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:27 pm

Of these options, Michigan at sticker is your best bet... It looks like PI is your main goal, and Mich by far has the best LRAP of these schools. I have no idea what the hell "top 5% softs" means -- the only important thing for PI is being able to show a commitment to public service. Can you do this with your prior work experience? I personally don't think I'd take Michigan at sticker... but if you do, it would at least be good to go in hedging your bets for what you want.

Sticker for USC is far too much when your chances of getting a FTLT legal job is 2/3 and your chances of paying off the debt is 1/3.

UCI at that price is just too risky of a proposition because we don't know enough about how it will place in the future. Yes, the c/o 2012 stats were sexy, but that class was also tiny and Chemerinsky was able to use his pull to get people stuff. The stats aren't indicative of how it'll place in the future.

You'd still come out of Fordham with $200k+ in debt, and that's just way too much for it's 1/4-1/3 chance of paying it off.

I don't even need to discuss Pepperdine.

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pinkynobrain
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:14 pm

Re: Really need some advice.

Postby pinkynobrain » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:47 pm

Do not do the June retake. Michigan is really your only option of those listed if you want to do PI as they have a pretty good LRAP program, only t14 listed, and have good placement in California (though I'm not sure of what % of that placement is PI). Have your wife look into employment opportunities in MI if the long distance thing for 3 years is not an option.

Scuppers
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:29 am

Re: Really need some advice.

Postby Scuppers » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:54 pm

Bronck wrote:Of these options, Michigan at sticker is your best bet... It looks like PI is your main goal, and Mich by far has the best LRAP of these schools. I have no idea what the hell "top 5% softs" means -- the only important thing for PI is being able to show a commitment to public service. Can you do this with your prior work experience? I personally don't think I'd take Michigan at sticker... but if you do, it would at least be good to go in hedging your bets for what you want.

Sticker for USC is far too much when your chances of getting a FTLT legal job is 2/3 and your chances of paying off the debt is 1/3.

UCI at that price is just too risky of a proposition because we don't know enough about how it will place in the future. Yes, the c/o 2012 stats were sexy, but that class was also tiny and Chemerinsky was able to use his pull to get people stuff. The stats aren't indicative of how it'll place in the future.

You'd still come out of Fordham with $200k+ in debt, and that's just way too much for it's 1/4-1/3 chance of paying it off.

I don't even need to discuss Pepperdine.


Thanks for your thoughtful analysis.

Now, this is less trying to convince you that I'm right than it is trying to get you to convince me that I'm wrong, but I actually thought Pepperdine with 46k yr was pretty attractive based upon the following:

1) I was under the assumption prestige mattered less for PI. My work has mostly been in education, and I've done plenty of volunteer work. Other (I hesitate to say unique, but certainly rare--that's what I meant by top 5%) interesting things that I think will be well-received by PI employers.

2) I like my wife's chances of working within driving distance of Malibu but possibly not Ann Arbor. This will be a massive cost difference for the three years that I am enrolled, and it's a variable I can't completely account for right now. Does that over complicate things? *sighs morosely*

muskies970
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: Really need some advice.

Postby muskies970 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:11 pm

Scuppers wrote:
Bronck wrote:Of these options, Michigan at sticker is your best bet... It looks like PI is your main goal, and Mich by far has the best LRAP of these schools. I have no idea what the hell "top 5% softs" means -- the only important thing for PI is being able to show a commitment to public service. Can you do this with your prior work experience? I personally don't think I'd take Michigan at sticker... but if you do, it would at least be good to go in hedging your bets for what you want.

Sticker for USC is far too much when your chances of getting a FTLT legal job is 2/3 and your chances of paying off the debt is 1/3.

UCI at that price is just too risky of a proposition because we don't know enough about how it will place in the future. Yes, the c/o 2012 stats were sexy, but that class was also tiny and Chemerinsky was able to use his pull to get people stuff. The stats aren't indicative of how it'll place in the future.

You'd still come out of Fordham with $200k+ in debt, and that's just way too much for it's 1/4-1/3 chance of paying it off.

I don't even need to discuss Pepperdine.


Thanks for your thoughtful analysis.

Now, this is less trying to convince you that I'm right than it is trying to get you to convince me that I'm wrong, but I actually thought Pepperdine with 46k yr was pretty attractive based upon the following:

1) I was under the assumption prestige mattered less for PI. My work has mostly been in education, and I've done plenty of volunteer work. Other (I hesitate to say unique, but certainly rare--that's what I meant by top 5%) interesting things that I think will be well-received by PI employers.

2) I like my wife's chances of working within driving distance of Malibu but possibly not Ann Arbor. This will be a massive cost difference for the three years that I am enrolled, and it's a variable I can't completely account for right now. Does that over complicate things? *sighs morosely*


1. According to LST less than 1% of Pepperdine's class ended up in PI work (3.1% government)... No idea how that number can be so low, but even with a full ride I don't think Pepperdine would be a good investment for you as there's a 50% chance your employment outcomes will be worse than before (non employed or employed ST/PT) and to me that's not worth the three years of foregone salary but you'll have to make that call... http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school= ... =employers

2. That is definitely a tough call, I can't imagine uprooting my life for three years, is your current career that awful? If you don't want to leave your wife for three years/ her moving to Ann Arbor would not be possible, I would say your "best" option would probably be USC at sticker or Irvine, however I think you know those aren't the greatest options as well...

User avatar
somewhatwayward
Posts: 1446
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:10 pm

Re: Really need some advice.

Postby somewhatwayward » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:38 pm

Scuppers wrote:
Bronck wrote:Of these options, Michigan at sticker is your best bet... It looks like PI is your main goal, and Mich by far has the best LRAP of these schools. I have no idea what the hell "top 5% softs" means -- the only important thing for PI is being able to show a commitment to public service. Can you do this with your prior work experience? I personally don't think I'd take Michigan at sticker... but if you do, it would at least be good to go in hedging your bets for what you want.

Sticker for USC is far too much when your chances of getting a FTLT legal job is 2/3 and your chances of paying off the debt is 1/3.

UCI at that price is just too risky of a proposition because we don't know enough about how it will place in the future. Yes, the c/o 2012 stats were sexy, but that class was also tiny and Chemerinsky was able to use his pull to get people stuff. The stats aren't indicative of how it'll place in the future.

You'd still come out of Fordham with $200k+ in debt, and that's just way too much for it's 1/4-1/3 chance of paying it off.

I don't even need to discuss Pepperdine.


Thanks for your thoughtful analysis.

Now, this is less trying to convince you that I'm right than it is trying to get you to convince me that I'm wrong, but I actually thought Pepperdine with 46k yr was pretty attractive based upon the following:

1) I was under the assumption prestige mattered less for PI. My work has mostly been in education, and I've done plenty of volunteer work. Other (I hesitate to say unique, but certainly rare--that's what I meant by top 5%) interesting things that I think will be well-received by PI employers.

2) I like my wife's chances of working within driving distance of Malibu but possibly not Ann Arbor. This will be a massive cost difference for the three years that I am enrolled, and it's a variable I can't completely account for right now. Does that over complicate things? *sighs morosely*


Re: #1, I think this is a variant of the 'I don't want big law so it doesn't matter that my school choices suck' argument (not saying yours suck but they are not great). It is true that if you are interested in local PI, like local PD offices or DA's offices (although some DAs are becoming more prestige-oriented, so if that is your goal, look into the credentials of recent DA hires in your target offices), then it is not worse (than going to a T10 school) to go local on the cheap because you can do externships and network in the area for three years. Of course T10s will also give you a shot at these types of jobs as well as many other types of jobs. But if you are talking about any non-local PI job (any human rights/civil rights work, any fed gov position, any policy work, prestigious PI orgs like the ACLU, state gov of states like NY/CA/TX/IL, etc), then going to a top school puts you in much better contention. These types of PI jobs are just as prestige-oriented as big law, and they want to see genuine interest.

So what kind of PI are you aiming for?

Also, definitely retake in June although start your intense studying now. There is no downside. If you drop, no one will care. If you improve, it could get you more money or even be enough better that you decide to reapply for better schools next year.

Big Dog
Posts: 1191
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:34 pm

Re: Really need some advice.

Postby Big Dog » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:44 pm

Let's see:

Wife is successful in SoCal.

OP wants to work in SoCal.

UCI is offering half off, and they are focused on PI. Since this class is the last one before the once that counts, Dean Chem and the staff won't slack off on making calls on behalf of students.

IMO, no brainer.


btw: see if UCI will raise the ante by showing them the other offers. (Nothing ventured....)

Scuppers
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:29 am

Re: Really need some advice.

Postby Scuppers » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:32 pm

hoogs23 wrote:have your tried to negotiate?


I have not because I was leaning toward Michigan, and I am pretty sure they won't give me anything. Guess it doesn't hurt to ask though.

How much from USC or UCI do I need? :/




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